PlayStation introduced High Definition collections of classic hits such as Sly Cooper and Ratchet & Clank, packaging multiple games into a single disc. Xbox re-released games such as Banjo Kazooie through their Xbox Live Arcade service. Nintendo re-released a plethora of Nintendo 64 gems along with a few remakes from the popular Pokémon franchise on the Nintendo 3DS.
With these recent releases, I can’t help but feel like some games have been lost in the shuffle. Some of the games from my childhood that were instant classics seem to have been tossed aside in favor of more well-known games. With that being said, here is a list of video games and video game franchises that deserve to be remade with improved graphics on next-generation consoles.
1. The Ape Escape Franchise
Ape Escape was my favorite video game of all time. A simple platform game, the goal was to travel through levels spanning across time to stop the evil Specter and his army of monkeys from rewriting history and taking over the world.
Not only was this an excellent platformer, but it revolutionized the world of gaming. Ape Escape was the first game to require the use of a DualShock analog controller and was the first game to maximize the potential of the analog sticks. Following the release of this game, other games began to incorporate the use of the analog sticks and other gaming companies such as Microsoft and Nintendo followed suit with their games. While the sequels lacked the same level of quality as the first game, there was a certain joy to the classic platformer that seems to be lost in modern day gaming. A blu ray disc featuring the first three games packaged in an HD collection might even give me a reason to upgrade to a PlayStation 4.
2. Mister Mosquito
The concept was simple: you were a mosquito, the goal was to suck blood from various members of the Yamada family, and as the levels progressed certain obstacles such as mosquito coils made the game harder. It was such a ridiculous game, but at the same time it was so addictive. In real life, mosquitos are among the biggest nuisances. However, you couldn’t help but cheer on the little guy on his quest to stock up on blood.
3. Pokémon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition
This was arguably the greatest of the classic Pokémon games. It was heavily based on the TV show and manga, the trainer had a chance to obtain every one of the original coveted “starter” Pokémon, and best of all Pikachu accompanied you on the adventure as a faithful companion.
Yet — this game never got the remake it deserved. While other games in the franchise such as Gold/Silver and Ruby/Sapphire were given full-blown remakes with updated gameplay, the 1998 hit that helped to solidify Pokémon as a video game empire was never given a similar treatment. With the polygonal 3D graphics introduced to the franchise in X and Y back in 2013, the journey that started it all could bring the magic of the original game to an entire new generation of gamers. Older gamers such as myself would also be willing to shill out the $40-50 for an updated version, if only for the sake of nostalgia.
4. Dr. Muto
Dr. Muto told the story of a mad scientist who accidentally destroyed his home planet, and subsequently traveled to other planets to obtain organic matter to rebuild his home world. Along the way Muto morphed into various organisms, such as a mouse or a gorilla, in order to complete various tasks. While the plot was interesting to say the least, it was a game that people played and never forgot. A re-release on next-gen consoles could lead to an inexpensive yet addictive alternative for gamers.
5. Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 (PS)
The two Spider-Man games made for the original PlayStation console showed how much of a simpler time it was for gaming. You pressed one button down to web swing, another to pick the direction you headed. Shooting web was assigned to a single button, as were punches and kicks. Whenever I play the modern Spider-Man games, I grow frustrated at how complex they make the controls. It becomes impossible to web swing, takes forever to find the destination for the next mission, and the button sequence for combos have become so complex that you’d expect a Mortal Kombat fatality to ensue. I’d much rather go back to the simple days of Spidey swinging to a destination in two minutes to take on such foes as Venom and Doc Ock. Plus…
Who could ever forget the Monster Ock creation in the final level?
6. Crash Bandicoot 1-3
Crash Bandicoot 1-3: Sony’s answer to Mario and Sonic, Crash became a mascot for Sony during his PlayStation exclusivity in the Naughty Dog era. While he still lives on through a series of sequels and spin-offs, the franchise hasn’t been the same since Naughty dog gave up the reigns.
7. Spyro the Dragon 1-3
Spyro the Dragon 1-3: Another successful Sony trilogy, Spyro made a name for himself on the PlayStation and continues to live on through the Skylanders video game and toy line. However, since the rushed “Enter the Dragonfly” sequel came out, the game hasn’t managed to grab gamers with the same simplicity and addictiveness that first endeared it to gamers. Artistic renderings have improved greatly since the days of the PlayStation, and a remake with some additional quests could generate interest in a classic character.
8. DragonBall Z: The Legacy of Goku
With the transition in the Pokémon franchise from the use of sprites to full 3D models, imagine how great Goku would look on his adventures. Sure, there have been DBZ games made for home consoles, but to be able to play a DragonBall Z adventure on the go — that would be something special.
9. War of the Monsters
War of the Monsters was a classic 3D fighting game featuring multiple giant creatures wreaking havoc in the city as they fought each other. I have many memories of going to the neighbors house and fighting as we would use buildings and random inanimate objects to destroy each other’s monsters. This is one of those games that will never gain the popularity of a franchise such as Call of Duty, but will always have some type of cult following. This game could generate interest if it were re-released as an online download, similar to what Xbox did with the original Banjo Kazooie games.
10. Blinx and Blinx 2
The interesting part of this game was the element of time. While exploring the various levels you could fast forward to go faster, slow down time to get past various obstacles, freeze time temporarily to help defeat enemies, or even rewind time if your character faced an untimely death. With these tools at your disposal, Blinx became a short-lived underrated franchise that brought a refreshing change to the traditional platform. This year, Microsoft abandoned the Blinx trademark which could bring the possibility of another sequel or remake being made for another console one day.
One can only hope…